Dr. Nathan F. Harris
Faculty & Special Assistant to Chief Academic Officer,
Vice President for Academic Affairs
A trusted consultant to Fortune 500 companies, Nate has made a career of studying and teaching how organizations function—and why they succeed or fail. “Organizational life is fascinating to analyze,” he says. “It’s a place where people have agency and discretion, but also encounter constraints on their behavior due to organizational structures, from culture to internal politics. It is difficult to empower employees if people do not understand how the whole business works.” Most recently, he served as a professor at the Warner Graduate School of Education & Human Development at the University of Rochester. A seasoned researcher who’s explored issues like ethical misconduct in higher education, Nate’s work has been broadly published in respected publications. Of Golisano Institute’s values, Nate points to “empowering” as one he finds especially vital. “At its heart, being empowering underscores both a collective commitment to a common goal to forge one’s future with ingenuity.” Outside of work, Nate enjoys being a dad, which entails attending innumerable concerts and school sports. He also savors Rochester’s culture, from the Jazz Festival to the Rochester Red Wings to the legendary burger at Good Luck.
What was your first ever job?
Working at the Bellaire Golf Course in my hometown in Michigan. In the spring of 8th grade and the summer going into 9th grade, I raked thatch from the golf course in the spring on the weekends and then washed dishes in the restaurant at night all summer long. I worked 30 to 40 hours a week that summer. I learned so much about life; the sort of lessons you don’t learn in school.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
My dad taught me to respect all forms of work. Never overlook anyone, both their contributions as employees and their feelings and identities as people.
Three fun facts
- I grew up in a very small but gorgeous town in northern Michigan. My graduating class only had 35 students.
- I lived in Brighton, England for a year, which was a treat courtesy of Rotary International. I am forever thankful.
- I dislike wearing socks, so I usually wear colorful argyle and critter socks. If I must wear socks, I am going to make it count!